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Title: Controls on dissolved organic carbon export through surface runoff from loamy agricultural soils
Authors: Van Gaelen, Nele ×
Verschoren, Veerle
Clymans, Wim
Poesen, Jean
Govers, Gerard #
Vanderborght, Jan #
Diels, Jan #
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Elsevier Scientific Pub. Co.
Series Title: Geoderma vol:226-227 pages:387-396
Abstract: Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is one of the most active and mobile carbon pools, and thus an important component
of the global carbon cycle. Previous research on DOC transport in the soil and on factors controlling DOC
export towards the river systemfocused mainly on forest andwetland areas, with only limited information available
from agricultural soils. We carried out rainfall simulations on agricultural field sites to identify the effect of
soil properties, field characteristics and hydrological conditions on DOC export by surface runoff from loamy agricultural
soils. Furthermore, the temporal evolution of DOC concentrations and specific UV absorbance (SUVA)
values in runoff water during a rainfall event was monitored. Additional rainfall simulations in the lab allowed
to investigate the effects of drop impact, crop residue incorporation and drying–rewetting of the soil on DOC concentrations
and SUVA values in both runoff and percolation water.
DOC concentrations were the highest and SUVA values the lowest at the start of a rainfall event, both in runoff
and percolation water. Afterwards, DOC concentrations diminished and SUVA values rose to steady values towards
the end of the experiments. Overall, rainfall conditions prior to the experiment showed to be amajor control
on DOC concentrations and quality in runoffwater fromagricultural fields. Smaller rainfall depths before the
experiment and lower initial soil moisture content led to high concentrations of low aromatic DOC in the runoff
water. This drying–rewetting effect on DOC concentrations and quality was also observed in the lab for percolationwater.
For the range of considered soil types, only a limited effect of soil and field characteristics on DOC concentrations
and quality in runoff was observed. The effect of reduced tillage on DOC concentrations in surface
runoff was ambiguous, with effects differing between experimental field sites
ISSN: 0016-7061
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Soil and Water Management
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Division of Geography & Tourism
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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